How Gallic druids tried to prevent writing from spreading to the wider world

One of the stories I heard a long time ago and could never verify was that, when writing was invented, Gallic druids tried to prevent it from spreading as it would in their eyes mean a loss of power. It would have been terrible had knowledge been accessible to all! I finally found a bit of information on that from an old french book from 1834. The fight against new technologies is nothing new…

“Caesar explains the policy of the Druids in the prohibition of writing: they did not want to profane their science and mysteries by making them accessible to the people. They found another benefit in making their lessons more difficult to remember: it allowed them to keep their disciples, the son of the Gallic leaders, addicted to them, and so to speak, under their domination.”


MKS Alternative Investments: the first three months

It’s been a few months since I started to work with MKS Alternative Investments, and we have had the pleasure to invest in several promising startups. Here is a bit of love for all those teams working hard to give you online access to doctors, help you get cash anywhere, or get in touch with businesses via text messages in India.

Lookup, chat with local businesses for free, led by Deepak Ravindran
Lookup is a free and secure messaging app which helps consumers chat with local businesses or shops. Lookup is currently available in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India and expanding to more cities soon.

Be-Cash, the peer to peer ATM network
Be-Cash revolutionizes the world of cash distribution. By linking consumers and retailers with ease, thanks to our terminals, we make withdrawing money even easier. Led by Malik Khalfi et Bertrand Vermorel., an innovative online platform that allows patients to connect with expert doctors by video or phone. Always available, from all over the world, led by Justin Fulcher

Sailogy charters boats with skippers worldwide. Sailogy has direct, personal relationships with over 5,500 vessels in over 50 of the most prestigious countries around the Globe. Led by Manlio Accardo

iRewind, the personal media company
iRewind is a Swiss Tech start-up, based at the Innovation Park of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, backed up by a development team in Romania and strategic partnerships with several global hardware manufacturers. Led by Bogdan Manoiu.

We look forward to continue investing in talented teams from around the world. Please get in touch with me or Omar Liess if you would like to discuss your early stage project(s). For fintech startups I am proud to continue my work with Anthemis looking at global startups working to disrupt finance.

The gafa convergence

Sometimes I wonder if Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft all have the same innovation guru calling the shots. I’m pretty sure there is a 65y old guy somewhere in the Silicon Valley that organizes secret retreats with Zuckerberg, Bezos, Cook and co. I mean, these companies are converging on so many themes: social, cloud, search, mobile, gaming, advertising, voice, smart assistants, now VR headsets. I guess the good news if you are Microsoft is that you seem to be pushing hard to make GAFA more like GAFAM…